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The sky’s the limit for Isabelle

Inspired by her Term 3 lessons on Space and by the class collaboration with the Monkton Stargazers, Isabelle from Year 5 has entered the prestigious international Cassini Scientist for a Day essay competition run by the European Space Agency in conjunction with NASA.

Participants in the competition were asked to choose one of three locations to send the Cassini spacecraft and to back their argument up with why that location would yield the best scientific results. Isabelle chose Saturn’s deeply enigmatic and mysterious hexagon which is currently baffling scientists as it changes colour and formation. With no answers but much insight and creative thinking, Isabelle justified her choice and we wish her well as her essay voyages into unknown territory!

For those of you whose knowledge base may not be as comprehensive as Year 5, the Cassini spacecraft has been in orbit around Saturn for the past few years and will end its life on 15th September 2017 when it takes its final plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.

Isabelle’s essay can be read in full below :-

Saturn’s Hexagon

I think Saturn’s Hexagon is the most interesting out of the three targets. It is incredibly fascinating and scientists don’t know too much about it. The main reason why I chose this target is that it just suddenly happened and scientists and astronomers can’t find a suitable explanation of why. When scientists did discover it, they were surprised and intrigued. It also looks more exciting than the other targets. Over four years, the hexagon has changed different colours, what could this mean? Does it mean the storm is getting worse? Is it stopping? But scientists think it is changing seasons.

It would be good if the Cassini Huygens mission could revisit Saturn’s Hexagon because we could learn more about it and see what really is happening. The hexagon is made of lots of different storms that have formed a giant hurricane on Saturn’s North Pole. The hexagon seems to be swirling around at extreme speeds. I like how the storms form a hexagonal shape.

We could learn so much about Saturn by just looking at it’s hexagon. We could learn more about Saturn’s vast weather conditions and storms. We could learn about the real reason why the hexagon changed colour in the first place and why Saturn’s Hexagon is a hexagon. Why is the storm in Saturn’s North Pole? We could find that out too. That’s why I think Cassini Huygens should go to Saturn’s Hexagon.

By Isabelle Tighe age 10, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, St Peter’s Park Road, Broadstairs, Kent, England, United Kingdom, Europe, CT10 2BA



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